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War Crimes Files Opened to Public

The United Nations war crimes archives, containing files on more than 40,000 suspected Nazi war criminals and their collaborators, was opened Monday to governments and individual researchers and historians.

The opening of the archives is expected to help locate and bring to justice many war criminals who have found shelter in various countries around the world.

The archives are located on the 12th floor of an office building at 345 Park Avenue South at 25th Street in Manhattan. They contain hundreds of cartons of files.

U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, who announced the opening of the files a few weeks ago, said that governments and researchers will be granted access only to microfilm versions of the files and not the original documents.

The opening of the files was announced by the secretary general after an 18-month campaign by Israel to allow free access to the archives for governments and individuals wishing to scrutinize the files.

Individuals who want to enter the archives have to submit an application through their government to the United Nations.

A spokesman for Israel’s U.N. Mission said that Israeli citizens who want to examine the files can receive an application for that purpose at the Israeli Mission.

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